ByteDance and TikTok spent $7 million on lobbying and ads

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have been actively lobbying Congress to prevent legislation that could potentially ban the popular social media app in the United States. According to disclosure reports, ByteDance spent a record $2.68 million on in-house TikTok lobbyists in the first quarter of the year, while TikTok itself spent over $4.5 million on a television and digital ad campaign to push back against potential bans.

The House recently passed legislation that would give ByteDance nine months to divest the app or face a ban in the U.S. The Senate is set to vote on a similar bill on Tuesday, after passing a procedural vote on a foreign aid package that includes the new TikTok legislation. The spending on lobbying efforts by TikTok and ByteDance does not include payments made to external consultants, such as veteran lobbyist David Urban, who was paid $80,000 last quarter by ByteDance.

TikTok has also spent over $400,000 on outside lobbying firms in Washington since the beginning of the year. This recent lobbying expenditure is a significant increase compared to previous years, with ByteDance and TikTok spending over $8 million on lobbying in 2023.

Despite the lobbying efforts, the fate of TikTok in the U.S. remains uncertain as Congress debates the potential ban. The spending on lobbying activities reflects the companies' efforts to educate policymakers about the impact of legislation on their large American user base. The outcomes of the upcoming Senate vote and any potential further legislative action will determine the future of TikTok in the United States.


More from Press Rundown